The Lincoln Memorial is festooned with the symbol of fasces—a bunch of rods bound together with a strap. Fasces is also the root word of fascism. In light of Lincoln’s tenure and what has followed, the symbolism is appropriate. From Thomas DiLorenzo at lewrockwell.com:
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. turned 100 on May 30, so I thought I’d add my two cents to all the tributes being paid to “America’s most beloved monument,” as one conservative publication described it. If you’d like to know what you’re teaching your children and grandchildren to worship and revere when you take them to visit the Lincoln Memorial, I suggest reading a U.S. National Park Service (NPS) publication by one Nathan King entitled “Secret Symbol of the Lincoln Memorial.” This is the U.S. government’s explanation of the meaning of the Lincoln Memorial.
The “true meaning” of the Lincoln Memorial according to the National Park Service that administers it is represented by a “ubiquitous symbol” that is all over the monument, inside and out. That symbol is the fasces, a bundle of rods bound together by a leather thong. This is said to represent “the higher meaning of the memorial and the man.”
The fasces was originally used in the Roman Empire as “a symbol of power and authority,” says the NPS publication. It “represented that a man held imperium, or executive authority.” Exercising that “authority” a “leader could expect his orders to be obeyed, could dole out punishment [to those who disobeyed him], and could even execute those who disobeyed.” That man, in the American tradition, would be Abraham Lincoln in particular, and all of his successors in general. It means that Jefferson’s declaration in the Declaration of Independence that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed is null and void. From Lincoln on forward, government in America derives its “just powers” from itself. Its “powers” are whatever it says they are. The word “fascism” of course has its roots in the word “fasces.”
Lincoln the authoritarian is revered by contemporary historians and intellectuals. From Thomas DiLorenzo at lewrockwell.com:
News coverage of the recent riots in Washington, D.C. revealed the utter inability of the police to protect shop owners, residents, and even the church across the street from the White House from vandalism, looting, and arson. National Guard and even active-duty military troops were brought in to protect the White House itself. The Secret Service is said to have brought the Trump family into the underground bunker beneath the executive mansion at one point.
Some of the government’s monuments to itself, which seem to be on every street corner and in every intersection in Washington, D.C., were vandalized and spray painted with graffiti. Yet it was still surprising to see one morning on the news that even the Lincoln Memorial –the most popular tourist destination in the city, the national shrine — had a few graffiti scribblings etched on it during the previous night’s rampant hooliganism.
Well. That does it. The line had been crossed. The response of the government was, to paraphrase President George H.W. Bush after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait: “This Shall Not Stand!” The next morning the news contained images of what appeared to be at least a hundred heavily-armed national guardsmen posted at the front of the Lincoln Memorial. There were probably dozens or even hundreds more protecting the other sides as though they were preparing for another Battle of the Bulge. You can loot and burn down every shop in Georgetown, set fires to garbage dumpsters and private cars in the streets, terrorize the public, assault and even shoot police officers and burn their squad cars, but hands off the Lincoln Memorial – the state’s quintessential monument to . . . statism. Would the Soviet government have permitted the defacing of a statue of Stalin? The Chinese government a trashing of Mao? How about red devil horns spray painted on Castro’s statue in Havana? As Murray Rothbard once said, the state considers the most grievous of crimes to be crimes against itself – or in this case its image of itself. Not gonna happen, as George W. Bush was fond of saying (at least according to his imitator on Saturday Night Live).
Hardscrabble Farmer and his son take a road trip to look for America and don’t always like what they find. From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:
Last week my youngest son and I decided to take a trip to visit family in the midlands of Virginia. The intention was to convince my Aunt and Uncle to move up north to live with us, an idea we had been considering for some time now. We’d decided to make the trip an educational opportunity for our son, but it was, for me, a way to see that the decision I’d made ten years earlier to step away from the rat race had been the right one for our family.
I’d kept close tabs on the direction of our country over those passing years, but from a safe distance. There was a time when I’d lived on the roads of U.S, travelling the highways and the back roads of each state in order to make my living. I’d built a career on my ability to adjust to each region, to either speed up or slow down my delivery depending on whether I was performing in a remote location or a major urban center. I knew my way around not only the country, but the people as well.
I was aware that a decade, particularly the one we’d just come through, had wrought some changes not only on the landscape of America, but the population that inhabited it. We arranged it so that we would visit our old hometown and family in Princeton, New Jersey for the first leg of the trip and arrive in Washington D.C. on the day of the midterm elections. We had additional plans to visit some historical sites that had a family connection in order to better understand our own place in the fabric of the American experience.
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